It is official, Maddy is a shoe wearing girl. She is not super thrilled about them, but she has started to accept them. A huge thanks to Anna for going shopping with us, and helping me think through the best way to help Maddy manage this new adventure!! You are my angel, Anna!
We went to Stride Right this morning, and looked at their shoes. In some ways we had to be pretty picky. They needed to fit tight enough that Maddy couldn't pull them off easily. On the other hand they needed to be big enough that we could put them on not with socks, but with a one piece outfit, since Maddy is still only wearing sleeper suits, for all intensive purposes. She also needed to have hard soles, since part of the goal is to get her actually walking in them, and hopefully ready to walk outside this summer. Since there is no way we are going to get her to talk on grass, or anything that makes her feet cold or wet, she is going to need shoes that she has accepted if we are going to have her walking outdoors.
So, with that already difficult list of requirements, we had Maddy's feet measured and realized that since she is so petite everywhere, she really fits into a size 3 1/2, and for that size they only make soft soled crib shoes. That makes sense when you think of how old the average 16ish pound baby is. Most babies are not walking on their own at 10 months, and even fewer of them are Maddy's size at that age. Also, most of the shoes that size are not very tight on the feet. Since the babies aren't expected to walk in them, they tend to be loose, and have pretty large holes on the top, especially for the girls shoes.
We started trying on shoes, and found a pair of size 4 shoes that fit tight around her feet, and that she could put on with her pajamas on. (See the pic below to see what they look like.) She wasn't thrilled with them, but she could physically walk with them. They were normally $75 shoes, but since they were the last pair in the store, we got them for only $25. (Thank you Heavenly Father for saving them for Maddy.) We found a second pair of shoes that were on sale as well, and got them in a size 4 1/2. They both have good hard soles. The second set isn't quite as tight on Maddy's feet, and we are hoping by the time she is ready to wear them that she will not be trying to pull them off all the time. The larger pair can also be worn with Maddy's thicker jammies now, so there is no excuse for Maddy to not have shoes on during the day.
Maddy wore her shoes for the rest of the day. She got to have them off when we were doing her brushing protocol, since she has to be naked, and she only fought us a little bit about putting them back on when we dressed her afterward. At first she wasn't very interested in trying to walk in the shoes, and was sticking to crawling, but by the end of the evening she was cruising at almost her normal pace. This afternoon we took her outside, so that she could see the advantages to shoes, mainly that she could walk on the ground without her feet getting wet and cold, and she had lots of fun walking around and watching the big kids play.
I am hoping that all of the transition to shoes will go this smoothly, but even if there are bumps in the road, it is exciting to see Maddy making progress in so many areas. She isn't in any danger of losing her feeding tube, and we start intensive OT next Monday, but she is gaining new words everyday, and she is a delight to spend time with. I am a lucky momma!